They were standing outside one of the student houses along Llanbadarn Road, snogging. I’ve never really liked the word, but itĀ is appropriateĀ I suppose. Kissing strangers. Snogging. They used to call it spooning. What was that line in Joni Mitchell’s song Edith and the Kingpin? He lifts their faces to the spoon. Or he takes their faces to the spoon? About cocaine, possibly. Spooning. Ted tries to describe spooning to the boy in L P Hartley’s The Go Between. He gets flustered, saying that the horses have been doing a bit of spooning. It sounds rude but also evocative. Snogging sounds immature, fumbling. I remember it. Just like those two. There was warmth, an encountering of warm strangeness. I remember being liquefied, turned molten. My body, older now, is slower to react, more hesitant, wary.

The noise was a shock. After the silence. They spilled out of the club onto the pavements, the road. Seemed like hundreds, shouting, some lurching, all in various states of undress. No coats. The Angel, Pier Pressure and the Why Not were all open. Not students, these were young and rowdy. Some leant against walls, others were on mobile phones calling taxis. I expected an Easter lull. A hushed reverence. The harbour was quiet, except for wind and rush of waves.

By the castle a dog was barking. I thought it was in a car. Some people had perched themselves in the castle turret. 1987 one was shouting. I couldn’t catch the rest. Then he spat, missing me.

Sleepy. Killing time till work. So much I want to be doing.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.